I've been riding The Red Devil to work for almost two weeks now.
While I hear lots of talk about scooters and motorcycles being invisible to normal drivers, I've had very little trouble. Almost everybody notices me and gives me safe space.
Oddly, all the problems I've had have been with giant trucks and SUVs. In the scariest incident, I was going 30 in a 25mph zone; the giant black SUV behind me wanted to go 40, and decided he could share the lane with me while he roared up to the red light. Doofus.
Regardless, most people are nice. On the other hand, The Red Devil is scary. It's only a 50cc scooter; I don't think it's designed for a 300-pound guy to drive it at 35mph. Every time I hit a bump, it feels like the scooter has gone airborne. Even the seat is under-designed: I get theater butt during the 30-minute ride to work.
Going around a corner is scary. Even a curve in the road is frightening, since you have to tilt the whole scooter a bit.
And when I get to my destination, my hands and feet are vibrating like mad. It's just like when you push around your lawnmower for a while. Which makes sense, since they're both probably two-cycle engines.
I've also discovered a list of things that need to be fixed. I've already noted that my fixes so far have required a bit of ingenuity; we'll see how these repairs fare:
- Oil light doesn't come on
- Right front blinker intermittent
- Left front blinker and hand brake loose (plastic mount broken)
- Speedometer intermittent (may be related to scratchy spinny sound)
- No way to inflate wheels (rear may be low)
- Whole thing covered in greasy grime
On the plus side, riding a scooter is a load of fun. Especially after you get accustomed to banking.
Last Friday, when I came home, the kids were flying kites in the front yard. Or trying to. We wedged one of the spools into my "luggage rack", and I pulled the kite around the cul-de-sac. Everybody loved it!
Now that, my friends, is good family fun!